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Through Medicine and Leadership, Corinne Gibson Aspires to Change Lives

At her first UTHSC Advisory Board meeting as student representative, Corinne Gibson accepts a plaque from Chancellor Peter Buckley, MD, on behalf of her predecessor, Elizabeth Evans.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has played a part in Corinne Gibson’s family for decades. Her parents got married as students in the College of Medicine, and now Gibson is continuing their legacy as a fourth-year medical student.

Gibson has known she wanted to go into the medical field since high school, with the initial inspiration coming from her parents. “I always really admired my parents’ resilience and their dedication to their patients,” she said. “I think just wanting to be someone who can be relied on to take care of people was kind of where it all started.”

Moving from Memphis to Nashville in the middle of high school, she believed her time in Memphis was not yet complete. Factoring in her parents’ experience in the College of Medicine, Gibson said her decision to attend UTHSC was a no-brainer.

Corinne Gibson

“My parents still to this day speak so highly of the clinical training that they got here and also of the relationships that they formed while they were here,” she said. “I knew that this would be a place where I would come out being a really strong clinician, and I would also be able to build really great relationships with the people in my class and the people I work with.”

Now in her final year of medical school, Gibson’s feelings about her training mirror those of her parents. According to her, she has gotten the best clinical experience possible since the beginning, and while it has been challenging, it has prepared her to be an excellent clinician.

“From day one, when you’re on clinical rotations, you really are treated like an integral member of the team, and you’re absolutely pushed to grow,” she said. “I’m at the point now where I feel really, really confident in my abilities. When I think about starting intern year, I feel I’m well prepared to take good care of patients and to also be a strong team member, which I think are the two most important things.”

In addition to changing the lives of her current and future patients, Gibson is passionate about making a difference through leadership. “It’s really important for me to try to make wherever I am better than when I found it,” she said. She aims to do this through the multiple leadership in which she is currently serving.

Gibson was elected president of the Medical Student Executive Council (MSEC), the governing council of the College of Medicine student body. Through that position, she has become president of the Student Government Association Executive Council (SGAEC), comprised of representatives from all six UTHSC colleges, and is the student representative on the UTHSC Advisory Board, serving as a liaison between the board and the student body.

“I want to make the campus better, not just for me and my class, but also for the students that are going to come after us.”

Corinne Gibson

In these roles, Gibson’s goals center on collaboration. She wants to work with other campus leaders to figure out where their issues overlap and come up with solutions that work for everyone. As student representative on the UTHSC Advisory Board, she hopes to make the students’ concerns known, as well as to convey to students that the university’s leaders are not only hearing their concerns but also working to resolve them.

“I want to make the campus better, not just for me and my class, but also for the students that are going to come after us,” she said. “Knowing that I helped implement a policy or a change, or maybe helped interview someone who’s going to impact students for 5, 10, 15 years, that’s just something that’s meaningful for me.”

Gibson is in the process of applying to anesthesia residency, and she has long-term goals of working in critical care medicine close to her family in Tennessee. She also hopes to use her experience as a leader on campus to make a difference as a health care leader in the future.